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Old 02-20-2014, 06:10 AM   #1
RedHillsRider OP
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: North Florida
Oddometer: 4
KLR650 Rear Suspension Changes


Just got my 2008 KLR and 2009 Velorex put together and have ridden about 200 miles. In browsing this forum I see that one of the recommended suspension changes is to stiffen up the rear suspension (thank you RedMenace and others). It looks like I need to change to a stiffer spring and add raising links.

I tried to move it to the stiffest level 5 on the spring preload and may have broken it because it is now set on the softest setting of 1 and wont go any stiffer.

So my questions are:

Do I need a new shock to make the spring preload adjustment work again? Hopefully not because they are pricey ($700 range).

Can I avoid getting a new shock by just going with a stiffer spring and the raising links?

What spring should I get - I weigh 150 lbs and the Velorex (no load) is 150 lbs? Has anybody used the DMC stiffer spring ($100)?

Looks like Eagle Mike has raising links. Im thinking I should get the taller raising links.

Any comments or recommendations will be much appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:57 AM   #2
Retired guy
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Spring Valley, AZ
Oddometer: 204
I used raising links and made a preload spacer for the shock. 10 psi in the forks and never bottomed again.
'02 1200s Bandit w/Cal FS sidecar
HS stage 1, Yoshi pipe etc. 5* trees by
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:10 AM   #3
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Sep 2008
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We normally change the spring on the stock shock, we use a progressive brand spring and have made a tool for changing the spring. We charge $100 for the spring installed if you ship us your shock.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:24 AM   #4
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Marietta, Ohio, USA
Oddometer: 600
You might try driving the outfit for a while till you really can judge how it works for your type of riding. As amazing as it seems in our 'farkle' driven bike world,,,,it might be acceptable as is. Noob sidecarists tend to think their outfits handle weird, often they just haven't gotten used to the oddity.

Try dialing up the rear shock stiffer, if possible add a spacer on top of your stock fork springs and change your fork oil for a heavier grade. It might do what you want/need. Since you are of a reasonably light weight you could win. Put some ballast in that hack or it will fly real easy,,,too easy.

With that said suspension upgrades if they are the right parts for the intended job (critical) will allow faster riding and possibly a better ride.
"The business of life is far too important to take seriously" Oscar Wilde
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:49 PM   #5
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Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Southern Minnesota
Oddometer: 168
KLR650 shock adjustment

If you turn the adjuster past the heaviest setting it will bounce back to the lightest setting as seen in this video:

You can only turn the adjustment one way (clockwise) to adjust it.

I have the stock front and rear shocks on my 1999 KLR650/Sputnik rig and with the rear shock set on 5 it works fine.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:03 AM   #6
RedHillsRider OP
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: North Florida
Oddometer: 4
Thanks guys. Good suggestions.
Since my stock spring preload adjustment appears to be broken and is stuck on level 1 (softest) my lean out alignment setting is way out of whack. So if I do need to replace the shock the Progressive Suspension 465 shock seems like it might be a good choice. Here is the link to the shock:
Anybody using this shock?
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:11 AM   #7
cathouse willy
just some guy
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: New West BC
Oddometer: 69
When I had my klr/enduro rig I had lots of sag.I bought a heavier spring from Eibach and took the rear shock to a local shop to have it installed.That and rear raising links and longer spacers in the front forks made the whole rig sit 3" higher. link to the thread
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:22 PM   #8
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Joined: May 2006
Location: mena, Ar
Oddometer: 1,637
Here is the only shock that has held up to my riding style.

I have the Moab, but they sell an adventure shock with less adjustments for under 500. It is completely rebuildable, even at home if you have the desire.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:06 PM   #9
RedHillsRider OP
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: North Florida
Oddometer: 4
Thanks cathouse willy for the link to the older thread. It was very helpful. And thank you johnwesley for the moab shock options.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:55 AM   #10
Old Kiwi#99
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Middle Earth, New Zealand
Oddometer: 291
There are three YouTube videos on repairing the rear shock preload adjuster. This is the important one
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:20 AM   #11
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Location: sc upstate
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:20 AM   #12
RedHillsRider OP
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: North Florida
Oddometer: 4
Here's what I ended up doing to improve the KLR's suspension now that the sidecar is attached.

Changed to Progressive springs and heavier oil in the front shocks.
Replaced stock shock with Progressive Suspension 465 shock.
Changed to Eagle Mike's raising links (the taller ones).

These changes raised the bike to get back about 1" of ground clearance that was lost from the sub-frame which is a good thing.

Yeah this was pricey but I've been happy with the results. Less dive in the front and less sag in the rear. I was worried that the 465 shock would be too stiff but it seems fine with my weight and the weight of the sidecar and ballast when riding some dirt roads with lots of ruts and wash outs.

Now I'm looking to find a stiffer shock/spring for the Velorex. Hopefully I can find one that does not require any mods to the Velorex frame or shock tower.
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